Term 2 Instrumental Music

Welcome to this extraordinary, new virtual landscape we find ourselves in Term 2. The Instrumental Music team were delighted to begin remote music learning activities this week through small group tuition lessons and ensemble rehearsals, as well as the continuation of our private lesson program.

So much of what we normally enjoy about making music involves the spirit of community and connectedness. The skills we work so hard to develop and refine such as listening, watching, breathing together, balancing, blending and responding to each other with non-verbal cues, can’t easily be replicated via online platforms. But, there is much that we can achieve in keeping the music alive while we learn remotely.

Ensemble Rehearsals

All ensembles (Bands, Choirs and Orchestras) will resume this week and continue via Zoom on their normally scheduled days with the following alterations:

Morning rehearsals: 7.30 am to 8 am

Afternoon rehearsals: 3.30 pm to 4 pm

What to expect in a virtual rehearsal?

Students will check in with their conductors via Zoom at the start of the rehearsal with instruments warmed up (and tuned) ready to commence. Sometimes the conductor will create sectionals either in Zoom break-out rooms or in other ways for smaller groups to work on a particular task or projects from week to week.

Rehearsals will often be what we call ‘silent’ rehearsals. While this sounds like a strange concept, it has been working well in many ensembles around the world. It means that often you will be playing along with your conductor (sometimes with accompaniment or backing), but you and your ensemble  will have your microphones muted. You will hear yourself and what your conductor is sharing with you, but you won’t hear each other simultaneously.

Many ensembles will continue to learn and prepare repertoire for the possibility of eventual live performances later this year, while also taking the time to focus on specific skills for musical development. Some ensembles may begin working on new projects including possible virtual performances or recording projects.

Small Group Tuition and Chamber Music

For those enrolled in group tuition or Chamber Music, your teacher will schedule a Zoom lesson with you at least once a fortnight with other independent tasks being set and feedback given via online platforms. We will utilise a variety of platforms for sharing resources for these classes including JW Pepper, SmartMusic and Essential Elements Interactive. Please look out for invitations to log in to some of these sites for certain activities.

Lesson resources and information for these classes will be placed in a designated OneNote Class Notebook and links to these notebooks can be found on your core ensemble Minerva page.

Private Lessons

Students enrolled in private music tuition will continue to work with their tutors to find a suitable time for their music lessons.

Instrumental and Vocal Competitions

We are excited that our annual Instrumental and Vocal competitions will continue this term via video entry. More information is available to download via Minerva.

Mrs Emma Dron
Director of Instrumental Music